Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Privilege will out

Did anyone really expect different results? Cleavages are persistent. And there are reasons for that persistence.

Oxbridge uncovered: More elitist than we thought
The sheer dominance by the top two social classes of Oxford and Cambridge University admissions has been revealed in newly released data.
Punting on the Cam
Four-fifths of students accepted at Oxbridge between 2010 and 2015 had parents with top professional and managerial jobs, and the numbers have been edging upwards…

Nationally about 31% of people are in the top two social income groups. They are the doctors, the lawyers, the senior managers.

The data reveals these top two social classes cleaned up in terms of places, with their share of offers rising from 79% to 81% between 2010 and 2015.

This was despite both universities spending £5m each a year on efforts to cast the net wider for students, according to official figures…

[David Lammy MP] said the scale of the regional divide went far beyond anything he could have imagined.

Mr. Lammy accused Oxbridge of failing to live up to its responsibilities as national universities, saying: "Oxbridge take over £800m a year from the taxpayer - paid for by people in every city, town and village.

"Whole swathes of the country - especially our seaside towns and the 'left behind' former industrial heartlands across the North and the Midlands are basically invisible.

"If Oxbridge can't improve, then there is no reason why the taxpayer should continue to give them so much money." …

Analysis By Branwen Jeffreys, BBC News education editor
We should all care who goes to our top universities because they end up running the country.

Less than 1% of the adult population graduated from Oxford or Cambridge, but the two universities have produced most of our prime ministers, the majority of our senior judges and civil servants, and many people in the media…

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